Hács - Wartime Experience

Wartime Experience

By May 1941, RN cruisers, such as HMS Fiji, were engaging the Luftwaffe with stabilized HACS IV systems with GRU/GRUB and Type 279 Radar with the Precision Ranging Panel, which gave +/- 25 yd accuracy out to 14,000 yds. HMS Fiji was finally sunk after running out of AA ammunition but her HACS IV directed 4-inch AA gun battery fended off Luftwaffe attacks for many hours. Demonstrating the RN's rapid strides in naval AA gunnery, in May 1941, HMS Prince of Wales (PoW) went to sea with HACS IVGB, with full radar ranging systems, and no less than 9 AA associated fire control radars: four Radar Type 285, one on each High Angle Director Tower (HADT) and four Radar Type 282, one on each Mk IV QF 2 pdr "pom pom" director, and a long range Radar Type 281 Warning Air (WA) radar which also had precision ranging panels for aerial and surface targets. This placed HMS Prince of Wales in the forefront of naval HA AA fire control systems at that time. In August and September 1941, HMS Prince of Wales demonstrated excellent long range radar directed AA fire during Operation Halberd. However, although the shortcomings of HACS are often blamed for the loss of Force Z, the failure of the anti-aircraft gunnery on intercepting the Japanese bombers were due to bizarre circumstances. The HACS was originally designed on Atlantic conditions on mind, not the tropics, and by December 1941, PoW's AA FC radars had become unserviceable due to the extreme heat and humidity in Malayan waters and her 2 pdr ammunition had deteriorated badly as well.

The RN made the following claims for ship borne anti-aircraft fire against enemy aircraft, from September 1939 up to March 28, 1941:

Certain kills: 234
Probable kills: 116
Damage claims: 134

The RN made the following claims for ship borne anti-aircraft fire against enemy aircraft, from September 1939 up to Dec 31 1942:

Certain kills: 524.
Probable kills: 183.
Damage claims: 271.
  • Minor warships and merchant vessels (most having no AA fire control systems)
Certain kills: 216.
Probable kills: 83.
Damage claims: 177.
Total kill claims: 740.
Total probable claims: 266.
Total damage claims: 448

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